KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — A judge has ruled that a statement a teen made to police about a fatal 2005 school shooting is admissible in his second trial.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/I6B9pT) reports the ruling came Wednesday after lawyers for Kenny Bartley Jr., who was 14 at the time of the shooting, argued that his statement should be thrown out.
Defense lawyers said their client was too young and high on pills when he signed a waiver of his rights and told police he fatally shot an assistant principal and wounded two others at Campbell County High School.
But the judge noted when he ruled that Bartley has an above-average IQ of 130.
"It appears from his IQ, he has the ability to understand those words (of the constitutional right to remain silent) and to understand what they meant in this case," the judge said.
The decision will allow prosecutors to use the statement against Bartley at his trial, which is scheduled for Feb. 24.
A Tennessee appellate court in March sustained a judge's granting of a new trial in the case.
He was 15 when his attorney and prosecutors struck a deal on the day of his 2007 trial that led to a 45-year prison term. Bartley pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-degree murder.
Bartley said he wasn't allowed to talk to his parents before the plea was entered.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com